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4 Apr

Apostle Francis Amoako-Atta, General Overseer of The Freedom Chapel International, has dared the Electoral Commission, EC, to be vigilant in the on-going biometric registration in order to ensure a smooth exercise and peaceful elections.

“The EC shouldn’t lose the fact that it must provide enough registration and voting logistics at the various centers,”he added.

Apostle Amoako-Atta was speaking in an exclusive interview with the National Times at the National Intercession Prayers and Peace Talks for the Nation Event for the Up Coming 2012 elections, organized by The National Intercession Prayers and Peace Talks Team in collaboration with The Freedom Chapel International in Accra with the Theme: Jehovah Our Peace.

The programme which is often held before every General Election was intended to prepare church members on the need to ensure good behaviour during this year’s elections.

According to him, the shortage of voting materials in the past at certain areas during elections contributed to violence by some unscrupulous persons who according them they had joined long standing queues at early hours and couldn’t wait any longer.

He has accordingly challenged politicians to be mindful of their language when they assume radio programmes and political (campaign) platforms in order not to inflame passions that will bring untold violence out of little provocations in this year’s elections.

“Ghana’s ever growing democracy hinges on peaceful elections which especially politicians and all including the youth must protect because we have only one Ghana,” he stressed.

The General Overseer contended among other issues that some politicians set bad precedence by inciting the youth to create confusion and violence during elections which in turn disturbs the peace that we all crave for.

He then called on the youth to ignore politicians who induce them with monies to wage war against their political opponent with no apparent reason during elections only to lose in the end.

Speaking on the Theme, The General Overseer touched on the word “PEACE”, explaining that the first letter, P signifies the people in a nation; the second letter   ‘E’ stands for education, whiles the letter A signifies adoption of a certain lifestyle which is good behavior worth emulating, ‘C’ he stated represents the word common, meaning the stage when everyone desire and work towards a common goal.

The last letter ‘E’ represents endurance, where a person who loses in a game or in a contest is able to endure pain or storms of life and moves ahead in life.


About 200 Ghanaian children visit Cape Coast Castle

4 Apr

Accra, Ghana, March 29, 2012

About 200 Ghanaian children will have the opportunity to express their experiences in art form following their visit to the Cape Coast Castle.

The educational tour of the Castle is being organized by the United Nations Information Centre in Accra with financial support from the Department of Public Information of the United Nations.

“We are excited to see students not only visit the Castle but to tell it in their own words what they feel about reliving the experiences at the Castle” Says the National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms Cynthia Prah.

At the end of the Day, UNIC Accra hopes to have the best 10 submissions by the students published in the local newspapers and online by various organizations with a keen interest in the Day, historical sites and museums and monument boards across world.

According to Ms Prah, “This is one way of reaching out to our children and making their voices heard in matters of global concern”

Four schools have been selected from the Greater Accra Region and four from the Central Region. They are Kanda and Dzorwulu Junior High Schools, St. Anthony Basic School and St. Paul’s Lutheran School from the Greater Accra. From the Central Region, Academy of Christ the King School, Aggrey Memorial Senior High School, Oguaa Secondary Technical School and Abakrampa Senior High School are taking part.

The Transatlantic Slave Trade lasted for 400 years from the 16th century to the 19th century with the sale and exploitation of millions of Africans by Europeans. On 17 December 2007, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution (62/122) which declared 25 March the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The resolution also called for the establishment of an outreach programme to mobilize educational institutions, civil society and other organizations to inculcate in future generations the “causes, consequences and lessons of the transatlantic slave trade, and to communicate the dangers of racism and prejudice.”

The purpose of this Day is to honour the memory of those who died as a result of slavery as well as those who have been exposed to the horrors of the middle passage and have fought for freedom from enslavement. This commitment by the UN and the actions used to fight against the system of slavery had an impact on the human rights movement.


24 Mar

We have taken note of the alternative costing of the NPP Free NHS policy
produced by the Centre for National Affairs (CNA).

This is a very welcome development, since it heralds a new era of
competitive policy-based political debate in this country.

In the specific case of the CNA’s intervention in the SHS debate, however,
there are simply too many gaps in their analysis to allow for its use as
an effective tool in interpreting the financial impact of the proposed
fee-free SHS policy.

We however welcome their suggestion to use primary Ministry of Education
data and the results of the Ghana Living Standards Survey – round 5.
Indeed, we have overcome our earlier concern about the Ministry’s dataset
not being up to date by using careful projections. This has enabled us to
follow an identical approach to the CNA’s, and also provided further
corroboration of our earlier analysis. We are now proceeding to publish
the results.

We had chosen to use JHS enrolment data in our earlier analysis because
the treatment is smoother that way. The critical impact of the policy is
derived from its objective of ensuring seamless “transmission” from JHS to
SHS. In that light it makes sense to focus on that level and to “stretch
out” the average per capita costs to accommodate the analysis. That
notwithstanding, the approach used by the CNA, provided the shortfalls in
their methodology are remedied, should lead to outcomes similar to those
produced by the original IMANI approach.
We will now proceed to identify some of the most worrying gaps in the CNA

1. CNA claims that according to GLSS data the amount spent by households
on each secondary student is $148. This is odd since the actual average
amount indicated on page 124 of that document is GHC244. This figure is
converted to $148 by the CNA, wrongly.
The CNA should have used 2008 constant dollar rates rather than the early
2012 dollar-cedi conversion rates that they used. Had they done so, the
figure would have come to: $256. Indeed, the GSS data dates back to 2005,
so a truly robust treatment would have projected to 2011 in Ghana Cedis
before commencing the dollar conversion. Again, the final sum would have
been more than twice what the CNA claims.

2. The CNA assumes that the total cost of catering for the expanded intake
of students is limited to Government’s absorption of household
expenditure. They do not account for the fact that for each new student
beyond fixed enrolment, the existing costs ALREADY borne by the government
has to be considered as “additional” when evaluating how much more new
students would cost the nation. Page 135 of the 2008 Preliminary
Educational Sector Performance Report provides the 2008 per capita costs
over a period of 5 years. Using the same rate of growth over that period
to project current government expenditure (usually called ‘subvention’)
yields an average expenditure of more than $840. This gap in the analysis
alone, sadly, completely derails the CNA’s conclusions.

3. The notion that over the next two years the Ghanaian economy will
double (from about GHS45billion to more than GHS92billion) cannot be based
on any realistic projection of current growth trends. At best a 25%
expansion in GDP (as opposed to the CNA’s 100%) can be expected. Any
expanded oil revenues will be based on current planned investments in the
oil resource (i.e. we need to pre-invest in oil infrastructure for fresh
output to come on board) giving us a clear view today of what oil revenues
are likely to be over the life of a prospective NPP government, should
they win the 2012 general elections.

These grievous gaps, unfortunately, makes the CNA’s figures untenable in
the current debate.
Below, we have proceeded to use the same methodology and data sources as
they did (but only after closing the critical gaps in their analysis).


Because there is no headcount of Secondary High School (SHS) or even
Junior High School (JHS) students this year or the year before, the
analysis has to be based on projections from the available data. The
Ministry of Education (then Ministry of Science, Education, Sports &
Science – MOESS) published the now widely referenced, “Preliminary
Education Sector Performance Report (PESPR)” in June 2008.
In that report the Ministry provided the following enrolment figures at SHS:

2003/2004  – 328,426

2007/2008  – 454,681

These data points suggest a compound growth rate of 38% over 5 years. 5
years is a good time span to average out year to year fluctuations.
Using the same growth rate trends, it is safe to assume that current
enrolment, in 2012, is about:

2011/2012  – 630,000

It is important to note that while this data includes figures for private
SHS students, it does not include information on the technical,
agricultural and vocational (TAV) sectors, where data is weakest (the 2008
PESPR report provides an estimate of about 70,000 “trainees” in public TAV
institutions, but the sector is treated in such a peculiar fashion that it
is perhaps best to leave it out of this analysis.)
We hope to show later in our discussion that it does not really matter
which proportion of total student enrolment relates to the private sector
as opposed to the public sector. This is simply because we will be using
pre-calculated average expenditure per student, which already takes into
account the fact that the central government spends very, very, little on
students in private SHS schools.
In considering enrolment for the coming analysis, we shall be using the
transmission rates between JHS and SHS instead of gross and net enrolment
rates. The proposed NPP policy has as its core objective the extension of
“basic” education to cover SHS, and sees therefore a seamless
“transmission” of JHS students to SHS, in very much the same way that
Primary 6 pupils “transmit” automatically to JHS today. We should, hence,
in our analysis be interested in:

1.    The certain increase in the number of JHS students that shall enrol in
SHS in 2013/2014 should the NPP form the next government.
2.    The fact that JHS enrolment itself is likely to expand further
considering the huge numbers of potential JHS enrolees who are currently
not in school. This shall feed into even higher enrolment at SHS in due

With that in mind, we can now examine the JHS enrolment figures provided
in the PESPR report:
2003/2004  – 986,111
2007/2008  – 1,224,964

Using the same 5-year compound growth rate, we can project current total
enrolment at JHS, i.e. in the 2011/2012 academic year, as follows:
2011/2012  – 1,525,000
Consequently, at the commencement of the 2013/2014 academic year, assuming
the same rate of transmission as primary-to-JHS (67%), the total number of
enrolled students in SHS1 shall expand from the current roughly 210,000 to
about 342,000.
[One can increase the total enrolment in SHS2 and SHS3 by the historical
trend of annual increases. Let’s however leave the figure static for
clarity of analysis.]

On the above assumption, it is estimated that upon the commencement of the
policy in 2013/2014, roughly 762,000 students shall be enrolled overall.
This is a very realistic projection.

We could however also, for future reference purposes, assume a more
conservative transmission rate, of 58%. That shall imply an SHS1 enrolment
level of 300,000 students upon the policy’s commencement, and an overall
SHS enrolment level of 720,000.
Based on identical projections, the realistic scenario suggests a total
SHS enrolment figure in year 4 of the NPP administration (year 3 in the
policy’s lifecycle) of 1.28 million.

Based on identical projections, the conservative scenario suggests a total
SHS enrolment figure in year 4 of the NPP Administration of 885,000. It is
important to point out that even ignoring the likely effects of the policy
current growth trends suggest that the SHS enrolment level in 2016/2017
shall be approximately 790,000.


For ease of analysis, we assume that in year one, all “additional” costs
as a result of the policy shall arise because of the additional 90,000
students (in the conservative model) or 132,000 students (in the realistic
model). The other cost item, unexamined in this analysis, to keep in mind
is the “cost of adjustment”. The cost of adjustment includes light capital
expenditure such as desks, learning materials (including text books),
public education, supervision, etc. but not heavy capital expenditure such
as classrooms, dormitories, dining halls, transport equipment, workshops
and laboratories etc.


To determine the additional (or combined marginal) cost due to new
students joining the secondary school system in year one, we employ an
elementary arithmetic relation:
Unit Current Govt Subvention (CGS) + Appropriated Household Expenditure
(AHE) = Public Sector Student Per Capita Expenditure (SPC)
That is simply to say that the cost of the current subsidy or subvention
per student at SHS plus the expenses currently borne by households but
transferrable to government in the wake of the policy equals the
additional cost per new student enrolled as a result of the policy.
Both the government’s average expenditure per student – CGS – and the
private expenditure per student – AHE – must be adjusted year by year for
inflation and currency depreciation costs in order to obtain the “real”
amount in the future.
Based on historical trends, a conservative 15% compound annual growth rate
might suffice for direct analysis. We however chose to rely on implied
projections in this narrative, thus enabling us to relax this assumption.
Let us now examine one after the other the two inputs in the arithmetical
relation above.
CGS (Unit Current Government Subvention)

According to the Ministry of Education itself:

The Per capita (the Ministry distinguishes this from the ‘unit’ cost)
public sector expenditure – the ‘CGS’- in 2003 was GHS191.
By 2007 the corresponding figure was GHS523.
It is instructive to note however that these figures did not include
‘personnel emolument’, essentially the cost of salaries paid out to
teachers and other public sector educational workers.
The combined growth rate in the CGS government expenditure over the
time-span under consideration is thus 273%.
It can be safely projected that the corresponding 2012 figure is GHS1,452,
which is in turn equivalent to $842 in 2012 prices. It is acceptable to
use this as the initial CGS figure for the 2013/2014 commencement year.
While this figure may come across as aggressive given other estimates
provided so far in this debate, it is important to note that it is derived
by sound principles from the Ministry’s own base data, and that it does
not even include personnel emolument costs.
The terminal CGS (government average expenditure per student in 2016/2017)
can be derived by projecting the 2008 figure at 2012 prices yielding
$1,220. It is interesting to point out that at 3% per annum the dollar
inflation rate is not completely negligible but for clarity of analysis we
will leave it static.
We now need to compute the AHE.

AHE (Average Household Expenditure)
We use the GLSS-5 data (notwithstanding the widely known concerns about
occasional granularity issues at district level).
The average secondary school expenditure per student per household is
provided in the September 2008 GLSS-5 report as follows: GHS244, which
corresponds to $256 (at 2006 dollar prices of 0.95 GHS).
If we were to follow the CNA’s lead and assume that government shall
assume 85% of the costs involved, then the adjusted AHE figure for this
analysis comes to $217. Given the breakdown of costs in the GLSS-5
however, there is no reason why government cannot choose to absorb the
entire cost if the policy is to boost enrolment. Since boarding students
outnumber day students, the transport component of the AHE build-up, the
one cost item easily discounted, is very small.

SPC (Total Policy-Related Cost Burden Per Student)
From an abundance of caution, we have decided to use the 2008 CGS level
throughout the remaining analysis, thus producing ultra-conservative
In that light the cost per each new student is $1100 (CGS + AHE). In the
scenario where government chooses not to assume the full complement of
direct household costs the corresponding figure is: $935.

In the ‘conservative scenario’, this amounts to $134 million or $114
million, should government assume only partial responsibility for private
costs. Note however that this figure relates strictly to additional
enrolment “following the introduction of the policy”. The government must
also absorb the household expenditure of those SHS1 students who “would
were enrolling anyway”. This is an additional $54 million, bringing the
total cost to $184 million or $168 million in the conservative model.
In the ‘realistic scenario’, this amounts to $154.5 million or $133
million plus $54 million, bringing the total cost to $208.5 million or
$187.5 million.

At this point, the analysis is more straightforward because we shall be
able to use total SHS enrolment to compute the total cost burden.
Based on assumptions already discussed, total JHS enrolment shall stand at
1.906 million students.
In the conservative model, total enrolment at SHS level shall come to 1.1
million. Total expenditure shall therefore come to $1.216 billion or
$1.0285 billion (in the scenario where government assumes partial
responsibility for private costs).
In the realistic scenario, total enrolment at SHS level shall stand at
1.277 million. Total expenditure shall therefore come to $1.404 billion or
$1.1934 billion.
The median projection is thus: $1.340 billion or $1.1115 billion.


These calculations do not explicitly accommodate the policy’s adjustment
and administration costs, defined above to include learning materials,
furniture, public education etc. There has furthermore been no accounting
for capital expenditure such as buildings and transport equipment etc.  No
personnel emolument or training costs are included in the CGS calculations
providing additional latitude for any downward adjustments due to error.
Because the data used for the CGS calculations are already averaged out,
there is no need for specific disaggregation of rural – urban, private –
public, or day – boarding sub-data.
Clearly, the use of GLSS-5 and Ministry of Education data, and the narrow
focus on SHS intake analysis in no way revises the earlier estimates
downwards. If anything at all, the higher averages, due to higher
resolution data, merely exacerbate the cost implications of the fee-free
SHS policy.

In future commentary, we shall investigate the capital costs of
adjustment, before moving on to examine the cost-benefit matrices and
overall structural and other objective social and economic merits of the
proposed policy.
IMANI Center for Policy & Education (; syndicated by

IMANI Center for Policy & education
First Floor, No. 231 Bari House
Flat Top Junction, Off Achimota-Lapaz Rd.
P.O. Box AT 411
Accra, Ghana
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16 Feb


The head of the Waste Management Department of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), Mr. Edward Mba has appealed to the people of Tema New Town to desist from dumping refuse, especially toxic waste into the sea as the practice tends to negatively affect the community and its people through the outbreak of diseases and reduced fish yields.

Mr. Mba said this when he addressed a gathering at an environmental sanitation durbar organized by Zoomlion Ghana Limited last Tuesday at Tema Newtown. The programme forms part of a series of community-based environmental sanitation durbars rolled out by the company with the rationale of bringing together traditional authorities, sanitation experts, public officials and other community stakeholders together to brainstorm on how best to tackle the environmental sanitation problems the respective communities are faced with.

The chairman for the occasion, Nii Adjetey Agbo, the Manklalo of Tema seized the opportunity to admonish the people of Tema New Town to endeavor to keep their environment clean and healthy. This, he said, will go a long way to prevent diseases such as malaria and cholera in the community. Nii Adjetey Agbo also called on the people to support the efforts of Zoomlion Ghana Limited in order to attain our mutual goal of keeping the country green, clean and healthy.

In his welcome address, the Tema Zone Manager of Zoomlion , Mr. George Aguadze explained that “Zoomlion has created this platform so that each and every one of us, wherever we may find ourselves, can play an active role in educating people around us with regards to keeping our environment clean. It is also fact that in whatever capacity we find ourselves – Parent, Teachers, pupils, and Community Leaders – we have very vital roles to play when it comes to sanitation education and awareness creation”, Mr. Aguadze added.

On his part, the Coordinating Director for TMA, Mr. Charles Kotey maintained that environmental consciousness and good sanitation enhances the quality of our health and socio-economic condition. He urged individuals in the community to play their part by keeping their immediate surroundings tidy, participating in periodic clean-ups and adhering strictly to environmental sanitation by-laws and guidelines concerning appropriate on-premises waste management and animal husbandry.

The Communications Manager of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mrs. Isabella Gyau Orhin thanked the people of Tema Newtown for the support they have given the company over the years and expressed the hope that the relationship will even grow better. She re-echoed Zoomlion’s commitment to combine its waste management and environmental sanitation operations with various public education and sensitization programmes to accelerate the attainment of Ghana’s sanitation goals. She went on to mention some of the public education programmes the company has embarked on in the past such as the Lorry Park campaign, Public Education in Islamic Communities and now Community-based Environmental Sanitation Durbars.

Mrs. Orhin maintained that “Zoomlion sees the individuals in the communities as major stakholders in the sanitation industry and hence the need for these programmes”. She also used the occasion to advise the school children present to act as peer educators in the fight against filth.



“STOP DUMPING REFUSE INTO THE SEA” … Urged TMA Waste Management Boss at Zoomlion Sanitation Durbar

15 Feb

ROAD ACCIDENTS TO REDUCE DRASTICALLY …As Road Safety Management Services Gears up to Begin Operations.

15 Feb

“STOP DUMPING REFUSE INTO THE SEA” … Urged TMA Waste Management Boss at Zoomlion Sanitation Durbar

15 Feb